The relative attractiveness of other crops may slow the trend toward new growers adopting peanuts.

But two growers in the Carolinas who have begun growing peanuts in recent years say it has proven to be a good choice for them.

Tommy Chaplin of Hartsville, S.C., a longtime tobacco grower, got out of flue-cured last year and replaced it with 200 acres of peanuts.

When you ask him now if he made the right choice, he says, “Heavens yes! Peanuts are so much easier to deal with.”

And they don’t require the 13-month-a-year commitment that tobacco does. “I really saw that in 2010,” said Chaplin. “It was the first year I have ever taken a vacation.”

Chaplin’s farm is a family farm operated by him, his brother David and Tommy’s two sons Thomas and James Daniel.

The land seems well suited to peanuts, and his average yield of 3,850 pounds per acre was right on his target.

He learned one lesson on choosing land for peanuts, he says. Don’t plant peanuts where there is a lot of clay.

“I was told to put peanuts on good cotton or tobacco land, and I did,” Chaplin said. “But some of it had too much clay. It was a challenge to harvest on it. But we made it work.”

Last year and this year, his only variety is the Virginia peanut NCV 11.

The results were good, and he plans on growing 200 acres again this season.

Another relatively new North Carolina peanut grower is Kent Revels of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. He is still learning about peanut production as he prepares to plant his fifth peanut crop.

One thing he has found out is that he may not have to limit his production to the Virginia-type. He experimented with a new type in 2010 and got good results.

“I grew some runners last year for the first time, and they did very well,” he said. “In fact, they may have done better than my Virginias. I will plant some more this year and maybe more in the future. I was well satisfied with my runners.”

He is going to increase his peanut acreage from 200 to 225 this season, and all the increase will be runners.

The runner variety he plants is FL07. “It was the only runner variety my company wanted,” he said. “It has a long shelf life.”

His Virginia varieties are Champs, NCV 11, Perry and Phillips.